PA Kate and
A woman who posted numerous hate
messages about the McCann family on
Twitter is a regular churchgoer, the
Brenda Leyland, 63, is one of a number
of people being investigated for
trolling the family of Madeleine McCann
who went missing on a family holiday in
Portugal in 2007.
Using the Twitter account '@Sweepyface',
which has since been deleted, Leyland
made offensive remarks such as:
"'#McCann Q: How long must the McCanns
suffer' answer 'for the rest of their
Those sending the messages believe, with
little or no evidence, that Madeleine's
parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had
something to do with their daughter's
Another troll in the group of McCann
haters wrote on Twitter: "I'm in the
mood for some waterboarding, who's first
K or G? #McCann let's sort this ****
Over the past few years hundreds of
terrible messages have been posted, some
directing the remarks at the McCanns'
Yesterday Sky News reporter Martin Brunt
confonted Leyland outside her home in
the quiet village of Burton Overy,
Leicestershire – just 15 miles from the
When he asked her why she was using her
Twitter account to attack the McCanns,
she said: "I'm entitled to do that."
Brunt told her that she had been
reported to the police, to which she
replied: "That's fair enough."
An 80-page dossier of Facebook posts,
Tweets and comments on online forums
attacking the McCanns has been handed to
the Metropolitan Police, who are now
assessing it in consultation with the
Crown Prosecution Service.
When the Times approached Leyland's
neighbours and friends in the village,
they said she was "very nice".
"She's a lovely woman and a very good
friend. She's a regular churchgoer,"